District of the Day: Senate District 49, House Districts 97 and 98
Senate District 49
Registration: D 13524, R 10139, N 16918, total 40602, D+ 3385
No Incumbent (?)
There's already an announced candidate for this seat and a second contender mulling it over, even though we don't even know if it will be on next year's ballot. Odd-numbered seats normally run on the gubernatorial cycle, but this is the only odd number seat with no incumbent in residence on Map Day.
Democrat Tod Bowman beat Republican Andrew Naeve by just 70 votes last year in old Senate 13, to become the only freshman Democrat in the Senate. That seat included the city of Clinton and northern Clinton County. It went north to pull in all of Jackson County, where Bowman lives in Maquoketa. It also had a small piece of Dubuque County, up to the south city limits.
The new district turns around and faces south. Clinton County is whole, and northern Scott County is included (including LeClaire, Princeton. McCausland and Park View). Thus a district that was maybe half Clinton County is now about 3/4, and a district that had a Democratic edge of 7,500 registered voters sees that lead cut in half. Naeve actually won the Clinton County part of the district by about 500 votes. Bowman rolled up his winning margin in Jackson County, which is now gone. And there squats the toad, because Bowman is paired with fellow Democrat Tom Hancock of Epworth up in new Senate 29.
Naeve has already announced here. And Clinton Mayor Rodger Holm may or may not also be running on the GOP side.
But since Bowman was just elected last year, in an old district that overlaps this new district, he can hold over till 2014 if he moves south. Bowman can also hold over in District 29... but only if Hancock retires. (Hancock has to run either way, because his old district was even so his four year 2008 term expires.) The Democratic margin is better in District 29, and the two Democrats have till February to work things out. If no other candidate runs, perhaps former local businessman William Drayton may be interested.
House District 97
Registration: D 6174, R 5931, N 9044, total 21161, D+ 243
Incumbent: Steve Olson, R-DeWitt
Olson went to the House in 2002 when the Clinton-Camanche area was redrawn . He got a relatively close 56-44 race in 2008 but then went unopposed in 2010, which shouldn't happen in what was a near even swing seat.
And it still is a swing seat, getting even a little more Democratic. In Clinton County, Olson keeps Camanche, DeWitt and everything west. On the north, Lost Nation stays in the district and Delmar is added. The changes are marginal in Scott as Olson swaps a couple Bettendorf-bordering townships: Pleasant Valley is out, Lincoln is in. He keeps Le Claire, Princeton, and most of the Wapsi River border; Donahue and Long Grove are carved out and sent south to Ross Paustian's district.
House District 98
Registration: D 7350, R 4208, N 7874, total 19441, D+ 3142
Incumbent: Mary Wolfe, D-Clinton
The District Draws Itself, Boyee: In the 2000 Census, the city of Clinton dropped below 1 percent of the state population for the first time, and instead of getting split down the middle got kept together. That meant a pair-up of Republican Clyde Bradley and Democrat Polly Bukta, but Bradley retired.
When Bukta retired in 2010 she backed attorney Mary Wolfe, who was nominated with no primary (in contrast to the four-way open seat Senate primary that Bowman went through). Republicans had the best circumstances they could get: an open seat, a good cycle, and a credible candidate in former school board member David Rose. But Rose fell 424 votes short.
Since we're in The District Draws Itself range (city of Clinton population=88% of ideal district size) there's little change in Wolfe's party margin. Continued population loss in the city means adding Low Moor (so small on the map scale that I had to read the legislation to see if it was in or out) and three small towns and townships on the Clinton-Jackson line: Charlotte, Goose Lake and Andover.
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